When convicted of a crime, you may have many regrets. You may dislike having to disclose it on every application. As time passes, you may start to wonder if there is any way you can get that mistake off your record.
In North Carolina, expunction (another word for expungement) can wipe the slate clean. When wanting to clear your record, know that the process will take time and money.
Wait it out
If you want to get your criminal record erased, the first step is to find out how long you must wait before trying. Each type of conviction merits a specific waiting period before you can file an application. If you do not know where to look for that information, call your local clerk or court or speak to your attorney.
Once you meet the requirements specified by your particular case, you will need to file a petition for expunction in the county where your case occurred. The exact verbiage required in the petition depends on the corresponding statute under which your conviction lies. You may find a form petition on the clerk of court’s site or in person at the court office.
Prepare for the hearing
In some instances, you may receive notice that the court requires your presence at the hearing. You may even need to testify and answer questions related to the conviction and your life since then. A judge may want to get to know your character before granting an expunction. While this is not always the case, you should prepare for it anyway.
Patiently wait for the results of your petition
It can take months for an expunction to occur, so you may need to exercise patience. The clerk will send you a copy of the judge’s order. If granted, the court destroys all evidence of your case. If denied, you have the chance to appeal.
Getting over a misstep may mean applying for an expunction years after you served your time. If granted, however, it erases your error and allows you to have a record-free future.